Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. And as everyone knows, it’s the holiday that celebrates love in all its iterations. 

You’ve probably been seeing messages of love everywhere you go (along with red and pink decorations and candy…..LOTS of candy). What better time is there to celebrate YOUR love for owning and running your own business??

Love What You Do

The old saying “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” is used a lot. However, even when you love what you do, running a business isn’t easy. It can be overwhelming and frustrating at times. There may even be moments when you wonder why you ever thought starting a business was a good idea.

Take a look at this fascinating article from Forbes. It explains the three major parts of the human brain and how those parts react in different employment scenarios. The author points out that while an entrepreneur can experience extreme “lows” and panic can set in at the thought of losing their livelihood, they can also experience much more intense “highs” than the average worker bee. It makes sense: when you’re the boss and in charge of everything, you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. By the same token, you have the power and the ability to take charge of your future and make changes for the better.

If you ask most entrepreneurs why they started their business you might hear answers like, “I wanted to pursue a dream”, “I hated working for other people”, or “I needed more work/life balance”. Sometimes, the greatest benefits of entrepreneurship aren’t necessarily in the job or product itself but in the freedom that comes with being your own boss. While that kind of responsibility can be daunting, even downright terrifying, the ability to make decisions for your own employment and financial future are often worth the risks and worry.

Making Changes

If you’re reading this and thinking, “I still love my business and wouldn’t change a thing!” you probably don’t even need to read any further (although you should)! But what if you find that having your own business isn’t making you any happier than you were before? Maybe the love and excitement that used to motivate you to take on the world every day has waned or disappeared altogether. Then it’s time to be brutally honest with yourself and admit that something isn’t working. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel just yet.

Strategy Matters

If you just aren’t sure how to bring back the love for your business, try some of these simple tried and true approaches:

Make a List – write down all the pros and cons of owning and running your own business versus working for someone else and see how they add up.

Narrow It Down – try to pinpoint exactly what isn’t working – is your profit margin tanking? Is the business that once seemed like the answer to all of your problems just boring you now? Are you still unable to find the right work/life balance? Once you know the what and the why, then you can tackle the problem head-on.

Get Nostalgic – try to remember why you started your own business in the first place and how it felt when you realized you were succeeding.

Get Feedback – talk to people who knew you before and after you started the business whose opinions you trust. Maybe seeing things from a different perspective can help get you on track.

Brainstorm – see if those closest to you can give you some ideas to kickstart your creativity.

Not Always a Bed of Roses

If you’ve really taken a hard look at your business and decided it’s worth fighting for, you need to know that uphill battles aren’t easy, but they can be won. Remember that you’re only human, and there will be times when the stress of owning a business can feel like a dark cloud over your head. If you can pinpoint the problems, apply realistic solutions, and accept the fact that even the most successful people go through tough times, you’ll be well on your way to getting back that lovin’ feeling.